Moving a Bridgeport Milling Machine Into A Basement Shop

How do I move a Bridgeport Milling Machine? Well, this is how a bunch of old croakers do it…………..
At long last my buddy Dave Bluett pulled the trigger on buying Robert Vogel’s  Bridgeport mill.  I wasn’t present for the negotiations, but judging by the amount of time they took, it must have been excruciating.  Finally, moving day arrived, and a tow truck was hired to do the grunt work. I wasn’t present for the 1st half of the load, but was told it went very smooth.  On hand were Mr Vogel, Dave, Eric Hoffmeyer, Sharon, Kenneth (Sharon’s son), and myself (at least at the offload).
**New** added 9 pictures for “Loading” mill, Thanks to  CAMS member Mark Long, who was kind enough to allow their use here. Mark was part of the crew that loaded out at Robert Vogel’s house and provided the pics and descriptions. A story without a beginning isn’t complete, so Thank you Mark, for filling in the blanks.

1. Sitting in the basement stripped down ready for load out…


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K O Lee Surface Grinder Rebuild

About a year or so ago I snagged a very dirty K O LEE surface grinder on Ebay. It didn’t take any bids for some reason (probably the shipping). I’ve spent a while cleaning it and fixing whatever needed attention, and I’m getting dangerously close to firing it up.
I’ve been tripping over the original coolant pump, and finally got fed up enough to haul the heavy turd up to my bench to part it out. I had planned on just popping a 10$ Harbor Freight pump in a 5 gallon pail for coolant, and be done with it, but after taking a good look at this coolant system I decided to reconsider. It is built on a decent sump with a 3/4″ steel plate for a base, and built like a brick outhouse. The cast aluminum belt guard alone made me want to save this piece. I LIKE American Iron better than I like Chinee junk. Time to put my money where my mouth is.
I didn’t take any pics of the grinder rebuild, but its about done, so I’ll try to show this part of the build. Theres still some work to do on the grinder, too. The pump is real dirty……..mvc-012fmvc-013f
The permanent screen filter is a plus (I’ll try to find a replacement, and keep this as a spare)
Here are a couple of shots of a really nicely made “oil gauge, filler cap” and manufacturer’s data plate; another excuse to
save this crusty bugger.
About a week later………The completed base.
The pump apart, its in real good shape. The pump shaft is supported by roller bearings and has a grease fitting to lubricate them.
The only wear visible is on the pump cover, where the gears have cut into the cover a couple of thousanths.
Heres the cover after a few minutes on the belt sander……..
Heres a couple of shots of the assembled pump. Nothing really tough about the assembly, just keep it clean, and I used Loctite anerobic gasket eliminator. I dug up a tube of marine grease and gave it a few shots in the Zerk fitting. The pump felt alot smoother cleaned and lubed.
Onto the coolant delivery manifold……………….

Long story short: This project stalled after I realized (was informed by a viewer) this was actually the hydraulic pump for the table pistons (that aren’t there anymore), so its of no real use to me. I gave it to Rich Soby (gageteer and all round square dealer), who is going to make an elevator lift pump out of it. Hope he gets further along with it than I did.

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Kurt Milling Machine Vise Rebuild

A while back I picked up an older Kurt D60 vise complete with no jaws and 40 pounds of swarf on C-List for $95. It was in pretty fair shape, with only one really substantial divot, but it was stiff and grungy. I tossed it on my workbench, and used it to grab stuff for a while until I sold my offshore mill vise to John Leatherman at the CAMS Yardsale. There was nothing wrong with the Chi-Vise, but the Kurts just work so much better. A month or so later, I found a decent Kurt swivel base on Ebay for about fifty bucks. All I needed was a set of jaws, and some T-bolts to get started. I ordered a rebuild kit and some table keys while I was at it. The total expenditure for the vise, swivel base and parts was about $225.
The entire “rebuild” took about 5 or 6 hours, mainly due to taking pics, and the fact that I had never taken this type of vise apart before. After having done it once, I could probably get the job done in a couple, maybe three hours. I wasn’t going for a “Pebble Beach” restoration, I just wanted to get a functional vise back on my mill, and figgered I’d throw a little money at it to make it a little better. I could have skipped the overhaul kit, as the existing parts were all good, but the kit cost $10, so why not? The finished product looks just marginally better, but functions smooth as silk. I’m glad I spent the time to get it apart for a good cleaning.
The total tools used were 3 or 4 Allen wrenches, and some wet stones of various grits. The vise was given a real good cleaning in my parts cleaner before I started the dissassembly. Heres what I started with………mvc-090f

And heres the parts…………..mvc-092f

Dissassembly, starting with removing the allen bolts from the fixed (rear) jaw…………..mvc-093f
Then removing the movable jaw. This requires removing the lock ring off of the main screw, then just backing the screw out.mvc-094f
Here we are 5 minutes into the job.mvc-095f
Heres a couple of shots of the locking mechanism on the movable jaw. The half-ball rides on an angled ramp that pulls the movable jaw down when tightening. This small detail is what sets Kurt vises apart from their Chinee clones. Here you get a good idea of just how much crap accumulates in the hidden recesses of your vise.mvc-096f
The first step was to flat file with a very fine toothed mill file to get all the dings and divot off. Five minutes work took all the high spots off so it would sit flat and mate together nicely. No major surgery here.

***UPDATE 8-4-2013***

I’ve had quite a few Emails chastising me for raping my vise by dragging a wood rasp across it. To be clear: this is a VERY fine 2 inch wide mill file with very sharp, very shallow teeth, designed for removing high spots on precision surfaces. While alot of time was spent drawing the file across the vise, the only thing removed was high spots and burrs. Once they are gone, the file just glides across the surface.

Next, getting the burrs off the fixed jaw with the fine file, then a stone.mvc-104f
Then the base gets the same treatment.mvc-105f
Heres a shot about 1/2 way through stoning the ways on the base of the vise. There is a couple of pits in the way due to coolant erosion, so its never gonna be perfect. The ways are smooth with no high spots, and I’m happy with them.
Stoning the movable jaw is next.
Chasing all the threads………….
Heres everything cleaned, smooth, and ready to go together.
Heres a couple of shots of the screw, and the new torrington bearings included in the kit, and as installed (shim-bearing-shim).
Reinstalling the locking collar with a couple of thousanths clearance.
And the base of the movable jaw.
to reinstall the top part of the movable jaw, first grease the 1/2 ball in the tapered part of the locking tang.
Then place vise jaw like this….
Then tip the jaw towards the front, and pull towards the front at the same time. This will join the two locking tangs.
Then install the allen set screw to keep the two parts of the jaw together. You will need to leave about an 1/8 of an inch of play (maybe back the screw out one turn), other wise the slide will bind. The ball acts as a fulcrum to lock the jaw to the way, and that is the way its designed to work. Just leave a little play in the screw, so you can assemble the vise, and play with the adjustment later.
Install the fixed jaw.
Then the cap that keeps chips out of the screw.
Now you can install the new jaws. First the fixed jaw.

***UPDATE 8-4-2013***

I’ve been told that the Kurt manual tells the rebuilder to put the vise in a press to preload the jaw against the way before torqueing the jaws down. Presumably, this is to register the jaw tight to the way for accuracy and repeatability. This makes perfect sense to me, but as I didn’t have this info when this article was written, I just held it down with hand pressure when I tightened the jaw. Additionally, I didn’t torque the jaws, merely locked them down tight.
Then the movable jaw. I put a sheet of paper under this (sliding) jaw to keep it off the ways.
There Ya go, now onto the base.
First, install the keys. This will keep the base pefectly indexed to the table on your machine.
Then install the T-bolts for the vise.
Then apply a little way oil to the sliding surfaces before dropping the vise on. Be sure to use a wood block, so you don’t damage the new table keys.
Way Oil in our store..
Set your angle to zero degrees.
And tighten her down.
Here it is temporarily mounted to the mill, using the T-bolts from the Chinee vice. The old bolts are too short, because this base is thicker, and I will change them shortly. I haven’t trammed it yet, but just threw an indicator on it real quick, and it looks to be real close right outta the box. I’m happy. All that is left is to fit new bolts, and make some chips!

I did not intend to restore this vise to Concours condition, I just wanted to make it right, with a minimal expenditure of time and money. For about $225 total cash outlay (that includes the price of the vise), and an afternoon and a half of labor, I’m happy with the results. The vise has a much stiffer feel than the old one, and grabs my work much tighter. The jaw contacts the work, and locks tight within 1/8 turn, and feels like a bank vault. I can’t help but feel that it will improve the quality of the work going out of the shop. I can hope, anyway………………

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